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The dialectics of the marriage spaces in the Bengali society is increasing creating fuzzy areas of modernity and tradition; both coexisting in the same shared space.  Along with what remain steadfast in all times is the idea of the 'origin' that is where the family hails from, a sense which has gathered most important apace amongst the Hindus after the partition of India in 1947. This sense of belonging to particular spaces associated with East Bengal (Modern day Bangladesh) or West Bengal (Encompassing the Indian state of West Bengal) is integral to definition of the origin. The origin space is thus the determinant of the rules and regulations of the marriage rituals within the broad parametres of the Bengali Hindu marriage rituals. This is capped by the understanding of being Bengali, a distinct social, economic and political identity that somewhere merges into one when it comes to showcasing the origin and its associated culture as visible in the marriage practices. The Bengali marriage may not form an acknowledged pattern of acceptance and negotiation of norms such as the village exogamy or even upward social mobilities for the family. Slowly there is also acknowledgement of the influences of the other communities marriage rituals, mostly as exemplified in the Hindi and the other language films and television shows that are viewed eagerly in Bengali Homes. The family space within Bengali marriage rituals and practices is slowly becoming redefined. What was earlier traditional and norm is no longer so. In this modernity is being defined variably by opening up of new economic spaces that provide opportunities but are in the informal sector.

This paper looks at how these images are created and projected as being 'original' and 'perfectly Bengali' and process of their consumption by the Bengali society. Significance of culture, ritual and practices as defined by the origin of the family and kinship identities in marriage practices is explored herein. The paper also focuses on the new livelihoods that are thus created and takes into account the newly emergent economic spaces that have opened up. The nature of  these  livelihoods  need to be understood as being gendered, ephemeral,  informal  and simultaneously perhaps progressing towards corporatisation.


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